Chapter 2: Water and Carbon: The Chemical Basis of Life

  1. What is matter, and how does it relate to mass?
  2. What is the fundamental unit of matter?
  3. How are elements different from compounds?
  4. What are the Big 4 (CHON) and Little four (P-CaSK)?
  5. Which 4 elements make up 96% of living matter?
  6. What is the most abundant element in living matter?
  7. What are the subatomic particles of an atom? How are they different from each other?
  8. How much mass of an atom does the nucleus take up?
  9. Why are trace elements important to life? Why can’t we live without them?
  10. Know how to calculate the subatomic particles of an atom (proton, neutron, electron) given a periodic table.
  11. What charges do the subatomic particles have?
  12. What is an electron cloud and how is it related to electron shells (orbitals)?
  13. Be able to draw a Bohr model of an atom (with electron shells).
  14. How many electrons in the first orbital? Second orbital? Third orbital?
  15. Be able to identify ionic and covalent bonds.
  16. What is the difference between non-polar and polar covalent bonds?
  17. Why is carbon so essential for life on Earth?
  18. What are isotopes?
  19. How do single, double and triple bonds form?
  20. Are double bonds covalent or ionic?
  21. How many electrons in a single bond? Double bond? Triple bond?
  22. When do chemical reactions occur?
  23. What is a solvent? How is water a solvent? 
  24. Why is water polar?
  25. What are the unique properties of water?
  26. Why is solid water denser than liquid water?
  27. What is the difference between cohesion and adhesion?
  28. What makes water both cohesive and adhesive?
  29. When a spider is walking on water, is that due to cohesion or adhesion?
  30. Why is cooler at the beach in the summer than further inland? Why is it warmer at the beach in the winter than further inland?
  31. Why is carbon the most versatile atom? Silicon is more common on Earth than carbon. Why do we think life is carbon-based, not silicon based?
  32. Explain scientific theories of the origin of life on Earth.